How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Personal Injury Cases?

Anytime a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, they should be able to recover compensation through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. However, securing this compensation is not always easy. Insurance carriers often put up significant resistance to paying out legitimate claims, and one of the tactics they may use to deny a claim or lower a settlement amount is to say that the injury victim had a pre-existing condition.

Why would a pre-existing condition matter?

In theory, it should not matter whether or not a person has a pre-existing condition if somebody else has caused them harm. However, it is important to keep in mind that insurance carriers are typically “for-profit” entities that will do what they can to lower any settlement they payout. One of the ways that they justify offering a lower settlement is by claiming that the injury victim is either not as injured as they say they are or that their injuries were not the result of the incident in question. The carrier could say that the injuries were already there in the first place. In other words, the insurance carrier will claim that the victim’s pain and suffering are pre-existing.

Victims should still be entitled to compensation

The presence of a pre-existing injury does not mean that an injury victim is unaffected by an accident. While an injury victim will not receive compensation for that pre-existing injury directly, it is often the case that an accident makes a pre-existing injury worse. In these cases, the victim should be entitled to receive compensation for the injury to the extent that the accident made the injury worse. This is often called an exasperation or aggravation of pre-existing conditions.

How do you prove that a pre-existing injury was exasperated?

You can prove that a pre-existing injury was exasperated or aggravated in an accident by coming up with evidence to prove your case. This may require hiring a skilled car accident attorney to help with your claim. A Louisville personal injury attorney is going to have the resources and legal experience necessary to help you through this. An attorney can:

  • Obtain all evidence necessary to prove liability for the initial incident. This can include video or photo surveillance, statements from eyewitnesses, accident reports, and more.
  • Work with trusted medical professionals to properly show how the incident in question exasperated or aggravated the pre-existing injury.
  • Work with trusted economic and financial experts to properly calculate a client’s total losses.
  • Negotiate with everybody involved to reach a fair settlement or prepare the case to go to trial if necessary to secure maximum compensation.

Do not let a pre-existing injury discourage you

You should never let they pre-existing injury discourage you from filing an insurance claim, and you should certainly not let the presence of a pre-existing injury force you to take a settlement that is lower than what you deserve from an insurance carrier. If necessary, work with a skilled Louisville car accident lawyer to help ensure that the party responsible for the accident is held accountable and that you are properly taken care of.